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Is Chicago Protected for Solo Feminine Vacationers?

If you’ve been dreaming of visiting the Windy City, chances are it has crossed your mind to wonder, “Is Chicago safe?” I’m from Chicago, and I have to acknowledge that this is a tough question to answer. The reality is that Chicago’s overall violent crime statistics are relatively high compared to other US cities and […]



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When you’ve been dreaming of visiting the Windy Metropolis, chances are high it has crossed your thoughts to marvel, “Is Chicago protected?”

I’m from Chicago, and I've to acknowledge that it is a powerful query to reply. The fact is that Chicago’s total violent crime statistics are comparatively excessive in comparison with different US cities and even different international locations.

Most of those crimes occur in particular elements of town, often on the South and West Sides. Though Chicago is my hometown, I don’t really feel certified to dive into specifics, as a result of that may require a full dialogue of town’s advanced historical past and social and cultural dynamics.

Nonetheless, I can say that Chicago stays a protected place for solo feminine vacationers, particularly with these security ideas in thoughts:

1. Get accustomed to Chicago’s neighborhoods

Chicago has over 77 distinctive neighborhoods, many of which make an excellent base for getting essentially the most out of town. My absolute favourite factor in regards to the Windy Metropolis is the quantity of cultural variety, which you’ll discover as you discover these neighborhoods.

When venturing outdoors of the Loop or no matter neighborhood you’re staying in, have a plan for the place you'll go and the way you're going to get there. Some neighborhoods aren’t the perfect for taking a leisurely stroll round, as sure pockets of the South and West Sides are vulnerable to violence and gang exercise. Usually, there aren’t any vacationer points of interest in these locations, although, so that you’re unlikely to go to them anyway.

Nonetheless, should you do wish to enterprise to the South or West Aspect, simply ensure you have a vacation spot versus strolling aimlessly. For instance, you may wish to try the Garfield Park Conservatory, because it’s one of many best free things to do in Chicago. When you aren’t accustomed to Garfield Park previous to visiting the conservatory, I don’t advocate exploring this neighborhood on foot.

2. Keep conscious of your environment

Like several huge metropolis, it’s essential to remain conscious of your environment when exploring Chicago. Don’t stroll round with headphones or earphones, as you received’t be capable of hear any potential security threats. Think about not listening to an ambulance coming towards you as you cross the road — yikes. You may see Chicagoans strolling with headphones or earphones, but it surely’s not a good suggestion.

3. Don’t interact with catcallers

is Chicago safe

Though I really feel like catcalling is much less frequent in Chicago than it's in different cities world wide, it nonetheless occurs. Typically being catcalled fills me with rage. Are you able to relate? Although at occasions I really feel feisty and wish to fireplace one thing again, it’s not a good suggestion.

Catcallers will be unpredictable in how they may react to your response and will change into violent. Simply ignore them and don’t make eye contact. Chances are high they’ll depart you alone should you keep impartial. Clapping again simply isn’t well worth the threat.

4. Don’t combat again

When you do have the unlucky circumstances of being robbed or pickpocketed, don't try and recuperate your belongings from the thief, and don't attempt to combat again. You don’t know if they're armed or how violent they might be. As irritating and scary as it might be to be robbed, it’s essential to cooperate and provides them what they ask for.

When you can, put area between your pockets and your self by tossing it in one other path. This must also put area between you and the assailant, so you may make your escape and get assist. Normally, they simply need your issues and can go after them as an alternative of you.

5. When you see one thing, say one thing

Hopefully, you received’t be a sufferer of any crime whilst you go to Chicago, however there’s an opportunity you would witness one. When you see against the law occurring, don't insert your self into the state of affairs. As a substitute, put far between your self and what’s occurring, and name the police to allow them to deal with it.

6. Be cautious of road sellers

You may encounter folks promoting various things on the road in Chicago, particularly downtown. There is perhaps someone promoting knock-off designer purses, and even Chicago memorabilia like T-shirts or magnets. They aren’t all unhealthy, however some use this as a ruse for suspicious exercise, like pickpocketing — the sellers are simply there to distract you whereas another person snatches your pockets. More often than not, they aren’t promoting something you wish to purchase anyway, so simply ignore them.

7. Care for your belongings on the CTA

The CTA (Chicago Transport Authority) operates each the L trains and the buses all through Chicago. Trains and buses can get tremendous packed, particularly throughout rush hour, and pickpocketing is kind of frequent on public transportation within the metropolis.

Be sure you have your belongings near you. Don’t put any valuables in your again pockets or in unzipped coat pockets. I as soon as had my pockets snatched from my coat pocket as I used to be stepping off a practice and couldn’t do a lot about it, because the doorways closed behind me and the practice took off, with my thief in possession of my playing cards and money.

Don’t make the identical mistake I did — put your pockets deep inside your purse, fanny pack, or backpack. So long as it’s not in an out of doors pocket, you have to be protected.

8. Keep away from buses at night time

This isn’t a strict rule, but it surely’s a great way to keep away from sketchiness at night time. Buses are nice to make use of in the course of the day, however they aren’t as protected at night time. Versus getting dropped off at a well-lit station in a busy location such as you would on a practice, bus stops are on the road, and generally you may find yourself in an space that isn’t so centralized or well-lit, which isn’t best at night time, particularly should you aren’t accustomed to the neighborhood.

To get across the metropolis at night time, I like to recommend utilizing the trains and Uber or Lyft. For instance, in case your vacation spot is a number of blocks from a practice station and also you don’t really feel completely snug strolling the remainder of the best way, you possibly can seize a rideshare and wait on the station for it to reach.

9. Take rideshares as an alternative of taxis

I don’t suppose taxis are essentially unsafe in Chicago, however Uber and Lyft are nonetheless a safer wager. On each of those platforms, you possibly can simply report an unsafe driver proper within the app. However, if one thing occurred in a taxi, you would need to get the car’s quantity and file a criticism with the taxi firm, which is extra of a trouble.

10. Don’t take taxis from the airport

If there’s anyplace you shouldn’t hail a cab in Chicago, it’s on the airport. These taxis cost outrageous quantities and prey on vacationers. A trip from the airport to downtown Chicago shouldn’t price greater than $60, which you’ll be capable of see in your rideshare app.

I like to recommend both hopping on the Blue Line practice from O’Hare to the Loop or getting an Uber or Lyft. To be trustworthy, the Blue Line will get you downtown simply as rapidly, after which you will get a trip from there to your lodging for less expensive.

This isn’t essentially a “security” tip, however getting scammed into paying a whole lot of {dollars} for a cab is tremendous annoying if not completely sketchy.

11. Share your location with somebody you belief

Whether or not you’re mountaineering within the mountains overseas or simply spending the weekend in a brand new metropolis, this tip applies anyplace you’re touring solo. Have a buddy who you possibly can share your dwell location with. Allow them to know should you’ll be going anyplace at night time, in order that they know to check out you. This fashion, you’ll have somebody who is aware of the place you might be and can know immediately if one thing is improper.

12. Keep away from elements of the lakeshore at night time…

The lakeshore is gorgeous, particularly at night time, with the lights of town glowing within the water beneath. Though there are some superior locations alongside Chicago’s lakeshore to hang around at night time, not all of them are very protected. For instance, Navy Pier is all the time full of individuals on any given summer time night time, making it a protected alternative for a lakeside stroll. However, you need to keep away from locations like Belmont Harbor which can be completely empty and really darkish at night time.

A very good rule of thumb is to stay to elements of the lakeshore which can be near downtown and have loads of folks milling about. Navy Pier, the Museum Campus, and Concrete Seashore are all nice, whereas any of the lakeside seashores or parks on the north facet of town will be harmful at night time.

13. …or just strolling anyplace at night time alone

is Chicago safe

Even after dwelling in Chicago for a number of years, I nonetheless didn’t really feel 100% snug strolling anyplace at night time. Even within the metropolis’s most secure neighborhoods, there’s all the time a heightened threat of crime after darkish. Although most streets within the metropolis are nicely lit, strolling alone will be unpredictable even when you recognize the neighborhood nicely.

When doubtful, simply take an Uber or Lyft. It may not be the most affordable factor on the planet, but it surely offers you peace of thoughts.

14. Keep heat within the winter months

Though there may be nonetheless quite a bit to like about Chicago within the wintertime, it’s not all the time the best time to visit should you aren’t ready for terribly chilly temperatures. Sometimes “the lake impact” can push temperatures as little as -22°F. This may be harmful for guests who don’t have the right gear to remain heat in these temps. Convey loads of layers and a heavy coat that goes all the way down to your thighs not less than. Waterproof boots with loads of insulation, together with thick gloves and a hat, are additionally key to maintaining heat. Nighttime temperatures are usually extra excessive, so avoiding going outdoors at night time may additionally be a good suggestion.

15. Convey security instruments

is Chicago safe

For added safety, take into account bringing a few security instruments with you in your solo journey to Chicago. A transportable doorjammer provides you an additional layer of safety in your lodge or Airbnb, plus it’s sufficiently small to throw in your purse or carry-on baggage.

One other useful gizmo to have is a private alarm. If anyone ever will get too near you or threatens you, use this personal alarm with a strobe light to scare them away earlier than they shut in.

16. Faux it ’til you make it

With a purpose to keep away from changing into a goal for petty theft or catcalling, ensure you appear like you recognize the place you’re going. Even should you’re simply exploring downtown, stroll with goal and don’t spend an excessive amount of time dilly-dallying. Chicago is a fast-paced metropolis, and anybody who's strolling slowly and stopping to take a look at each little factor will stand out like a sore thumb. I do know it'd sound harsh should you aren’t from a giant metropolis, however trying like a vacationer will instantly make you extra of a goal for theft.

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is Chicago safe

Chicago is an unimaginable metropolis to go to. I want I may see it with the recent eyes of a newcomer once more, as I vaguely bear in mind what it was wish to be enchanted by the Windy Metropolis for the primary time. My hope is that these security ideas enable you put together your self to remain protected in Chicago with out intimidating you. I feel it’s a implausible vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers, so long as they train warning and use road smarts.

Gear up on your journey with this epic list of things to do in Chicago, and tell us what you’re most enthusiastic about!

Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Be My Travel Muse blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!